"We, the undersigned, believe that on the issue of holding civil partnership ceremonies in Church of England churches incumbents / priests in charge should be accorded the same rights as they enjoy at present in the matter of officiating at the marriage of divorced couples in church. Namely, that this should be a matter for the individual conscience of the incumbent / priest in charge.
We would respectfully request that our views in this regard are fully represented in Synod."
When I was asked to put my name to the letter being sent to the Proctors for Clergy in the Diocese of London and the Times and the Church Times, I didn't hesitate in signing. Since announcing our engagement, my fiancé and I have been overwhelmed by the love and the support shown to us by the congregation at St Botolph's, the wider Deanery and Diocese. Hearty congratulations have been offered and prayers for our life together and we are both very grateful.
Relationships are sustained and strengthened by being recognised within the community. Whilst enjoying the good wishes of my colleagues and friends, a sense of sadness remains for me thinking of those who are not given that public support and recognition; those whose life partners are of the same gender who are not able to be open about their love.
St Botolph without Aldgate has for many years been a place where all are welcomed, valued and loved. As a church congregation and as its Rector, we firmly believe that a healthy and happy worshipping community recognises the love people share and add our voices to ask the General Synod to enable us to celebrate Civil Partnerships in church.